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As a drilling consultant, you sometimes take a job that you maybe should have left alone. The phone rang one day and this guy said, “I have the worst rig, worst crew, worst job and the Company Man has just quit. Would you like to have a job?” So, with a new Escalade, new Harley and a wife that still has that new wife smell on her, I figured that it would be a very good idea if I went to work. “Sure”, I said, “sounds like fun”. I said to the little wife ,“git in the truck”. I don’t leave home without her.
So we headed for the Deep South. During the hand over, the Company Man that had quit, did stay on the rig until I got there. He was packed and waiting. He told me what had been going on and that in his opinion, these rig guys would kill somebody before it was all over. Then he walked out the door. Praise the Lord, he was wrong. They only pulled off one big toe while I was there.
The well bore walked off while we had an air hammer in the hole. The office in town decided that by changing from air to fluid and using directional tools, we could bring the well back to vertical. Tripping pipe is part of roughnecking. These boys did not much like tripping pipe and cried about it. There should be a new law about the company man not having to listen to the roughnecks or hands gripe. Inexperienced hands, new rig, small rig, just a small double derrick means long trip times and nobody seemed to care. Lots and lots of stuff that just really irritate your world right down to the core. People with no respect for themselves and certainly not for anyone else. Leadership isn’t instilled in the hands by a toolpusher in a cowboy hat, smoking on the rig floor, drunk. Or is it just me? When the driller is screaming at you in front of everybody, for nothing, love does not fill the air. One can understand why that driller doesn’t have many teeth; it looks like somebody had already knocked most of them out. You would think that if a fellow had just one tooth, he would at least be able to take care of it.
Someway the valve that allowed the diesel to go to the motors was closed. This happened right after a crew change and they were not coming back. It took quite a while to find the problem. This sort of sabotage isn’t good for anybody. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude; even at the best of times... anyway we finally get in the hole and begin to drill. Its boom time and everybody is working. Life is good. It is hard to keep the faith when everything is going wrong. The MWD just stopped working. You know that the MWD hand is new and just might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Problems with replacements taking 24 hours to get to this isolated location. Everything is a long ways off. OK, let’s come out of the hole. As the derrickman is being lifted into the derrick with the air hoist, his boot gets caught in the derrick as he attempts to kick away and pulls his big toe smooth off. Now we are even more shorthanded or footed, anyway leaving the job of coming out of the hole, even more difficult. The driller’s nephew, after being screamed at most of his tour, walks off the job. We are trying to trip the pipe and get the MWD out of the hole. He walked off, got in his car and left. Leaving his uncle the driller, who was to ride with him back home, at the rig. The loud mouthed driller’s “biker bitch” wife had to drive for three hours to come pick up this guy. Her nephew and her husband were having an argument. As you can guess, she was just really tickled about the whole deal. Now, we all know where the driller learned how to talk to people and who probably knocked most of his teeth out. There is justice in this world. After his week off, he returned to the rig clean shaven, with a whole new attitude and a set of false teeth. I don’t think that the teeth were actually built for him. Some of these boys really do live back in the woods.
The nephew never did return. We got the MWD out of the hole; the poor service hand had been getting a load of crap from everybody about his junky MWD. I am sure they may have even talked bad about this guy’s mother. Nobody was happy about having to pull this pipe out of the hole because of a faulty tool. Setting on top of his fully functioning MWD was something, but we couldn’t quite recognize what it was. Then a roughneck said “it’s a hair stick”. It seems that the nephew may have accidentally jammed the wire brush down in the drillpipe, under a filter while making his last connection. At least, that is a possibility. Who knows, maybe it was the hair stick fairy.
While trying to explain this phenomenon, my boss said relief was on the road. I told the little wife to, “git in the truck.” I don’t leave home without her. We drove to Tupelo, Mississippi to see where “The King” was born.